39 Country Initiative — Part 2: Yamlaksira’s Story

Empowering Educators in Developing Countries

As we kick-off our One Million Textbooks to Africa campaign, we want to share the story of Yamlaksira Getachew. Yamlaksira works with the 39 Country Initiative, one of our key partners, to send high quality educational materials to our partner schools.

T4C: Why did you start the 39 Country Initiative?

I didn’t start the 39 Country Initiative; Ivey has had the initiative since 2010, roughly two years before I started my PhD program. I had admission offers from 7 great PhD programs and one of the major factors in my eventual decision to join Ivey was the opportunity to be involved in the initiative and work with Professor Paul Beamish, who is not only a respected authority in international business (my area of specialization) but also the driving force behind the 39 Country Initiative. Please follow this link to learn more about the 39 Country Initiative: http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/engaging/39-country-initiative/

T4C: What was it like sending the first shipment of over 13,000 books and journals to Addis Ababa University? Have you heard any feeback from students and professors?

Yamlaksira, second from the left, with the shipment of books for Addis Ababa University.

To say I am happy would be an understatement. It’s a huge accomplishment, and I am delighted to have been involved in the process. Indeed, the shipment has elevated the quality and availability of educational materials at Addis Ababa University to a whole new level. The feedback we received from the school and university officials as well as professors and students has been encouraging.

As a former lecturer at Addis Ababa University, I can attest to the significant ways in which the shipment can contribute to the teaching-learning process there.

The huge collection of journals and articles can also immensely contribute to the research activities of the faculty. Please go to the following link to read letters from the Dean of the School of Commerce and the University president regarding the shipment: http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/engaging/39-country-initiative/testimonials/

T4C: What are your ultimate goals for the 39 Country Initiative? What will its impact be like in 5 years?

The primary purpose of the 39 Country Initiative is to contribute to poverty reduction in the world’s 39 poorest countries, by helping improve management education in these countries. The initiative focuses on three major challenges facing management education in these countries:

  1. Lack of current teaching material.
  2. Insufficient quantity of reading material.
  3. Lack of qualified faculty.

So far, we’ve made encouraging progress in dealing with these challenges. We are providing universities in the 39 countries free access to a huge volume of management education material, comprising Ivey Publishing’s cases, technical notes, and Ivey Business Journal articles. We’ve shipped hard-copy educational materials to two universities in the 39 countries, with preparations afoot for further shipments. We’ve also provided teachers in the 39 countries free access to teaching notes to assist them in using cases. Also, case teaching and writing workshops were held in several countries.

Going forward, we want to a) ensure that more universities/schools in these countries benefit from the opportunities and b) to encourage other universities/schools from wealthier countries embrace the purpose of poverty reduction in the poorest countries and contribute to this noble cause. As we speak, contacts at the University of Queensland, Australia; the University of Windsor, Canada; and the Temple University, USA are coordinating book collections across their respective regions. We will encourage more universities/schools to follow suit. The following link provides more information: http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/engaging/39-country-initiative/book-collection-locations-and-contacts/

T4C and the 39 Country Initiative with 12,000 textbooks ready to be shipped to Ghana

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and donors. We appreciate the partnership with Textbook for Change and its donation of books for eventual shipment to the 39 countries. Also, we’re grateful to the support of Ivey Publishing for allowing us to provide professors/universities in the 39 countries free access to its contents. Our gratitude also goes to the Academy of International Business (AIB) for agreeing to provide up to $25,000/year to cover 5 shipments of educational material. We also appreciate the assistance and donations of faculty across Western University and individuals who have assisted us directly and/or indirectly in the activities of the 39 Country Initiative.